FCM becomes ‘first’ TMC to gain Level 4 NDC certification

Buying Business Travel | December 10, 2019

FCM Travel Solutions says it is the first global TMC to achieve IATA NDC Level 4 certification. Level 4 is currently the highest level of IATA’s NDC certification programme, and means the TMC, along with parent company Flight Centre Travel Group, can provide “full offer and order management”. As a result, in addition to booking NDC airline content, its consultants can now support changes in travellers’ NDC bookings and manage flight disruption, which is critical to servicing clients in the corporate sector. Carriers including United Airlines, American Airlines and Lufthansa have achieved Level 4 status, but to date FCM claims that no other global TMC has reached this level of NDC capability. Nicola Ping (pictured above), FCM’s manager of air content and distribution EMEA, said: “There is still work to be done industry-wide to ensure that NDC standards are completely business travel ready. We have spent the best part of the past two years focusing on our connectivity, travel content and NDC distribution capabilities especially in terms of servicing FCM clients effectively.

Spotlight

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently unveiled its New Distribution Capability (NDC) program. According to IATA, the program, which defines a new technology standard with which airlines, travel agencies and travel technology providers communicate electronically and market air products, will result in a major transformation in the travel industry. The NDC will change the way that airlines market their products to corporations and travelers.


Other News
INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Aggressor Adventures Consumer Travel Index Indicates a Longing for Discovery

Aggressor Adventures | February 04, 2022

Aggressor Adventures®, the leader in luxury adventure travel, announces the results of its latest Consumer Travel Index, which tracks consumer sentiments on a bi-monthly basis. In the last 18 months, scientists have made thousands of exciting new discoveries of new species in the ocean and artifacts at historic sites around the world. As such, Aggressor’s February Index puts a spotlight on discovery.Discovering the Unknown Traveling is about venturing into the great unknown. It helps eradicate any fears you may have of what you can’t control, and you are better able to embrace the unfamiliar with an open mind. Aggressor’s first question asks travelers for their feelings towards new animal species and their willingness to visit sites home to discoveries. Nearly 45 percent of respondents say they would love to be the first human to discover a new species. Furthermore, only 10 percent of respondents would be frightened to come across something previously undiscovered. “As we travel, we are constantly stepping outside of our comfort zones, pushing ourselves to immerse ourselves in the many unique destinations we visit all around the world, Our latest survey results prove it's one thing to learn about a new discovery online or on television, but nothing beats actually setting foot where the discoveries are made and being a part of history.” -Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures. Curious at Heart A recent study from Curio Collection by Hilton reveals what drives curiosity as it relates to the modern traveler. The findings show 91 percent of the population considers themselves to be curious and 73 percent of people say that traveling is their go-to outlet to express their curiosity. Furthermore, 57 percent of travelers wish they could spend more time exploring the things they are most curious about, such as visiting ancient ruins, eating dinner at a well-regarded restaurant or experiencing a safari. Aggressor’s second Index question asks respondents their first reaction to a new scientific discovery being made and the level of curiosity is evident. Nearly 60 percent of respondents say their curiosity leads them to research the discovery for more information and more than 15 percent will research the location of where the discovery is made to learn how they can visit the site. Aggressor Adventures’ customer base is filled with curious travelers who long for the opportunity to not only discover but explore, adds Brown. We encourage curious travelers to follow us on social media this year as we share and uncover incredible finds of the natural world. We’ve already seen a handful of remarkable discoveries made this year and are excited to share them with you in real-time. About Aggressor Adventures Since 1984, Aggressor Adventures® has offered travelers liveaboard scuba and snorkeling charters, luxury river cruises and exotic wildlife safaris. Worldwide locations the company explores include Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Galapagos, Hawaii, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico, Philippines, Palau, Red Sea, Roatan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Turks and Caicos. The company’s Clean, Refresh, Sanitize safety standards are industry leading. For more information, visit www.aggressor.com or call (800) 348-2628 or (706) 993-2531.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Leisure Hotels & Resorts Selects Stayntouch to Deploy its Flexible Cloud-Native PMS Across 4 Upscale Independent Properties

Leisure Hotels & Resorts | February 03, 2022

Stayntouch, a global leader in guest-centric cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) and contactless technology, announced a partnership with Leisure Hotels & Resorts, a leading comprehensive hospitality management company that specializes in upscale destination markets and unique independent brands. Stayntouch will now deliver their flexible PMS solution to four of Leisure Hotels' Midwest and Mountain properties, totaling 469 rooms.Representing a combined 175 years of hospitality experience, Leisure Hotels & Resorts is a proven leader in hospitality management, with 24 hotels, resorts and restaurants currently under management. Prior to Stayntouch, Leisure deployed a traditional desktop-based PMS, which was difficult to use and tied staff to the front desk. Leisure chose Stayntouch because they needed a flexible platform that delivered a digital welcome experience for guests, as well as an intuitive and mobile user interface to streamline operations and allow staff to engage guests anywhere on property. Our previous platform was constrained by a lack of flexibility and we are pleased to add Stayntouch, which provides us flexibility, ease-of-use, and mobile accessibility," said Chrissy Marz, General Manager at Leisure Hotels & Resorts. "The PMS integrated seamlessly with our CRS, and the mobile design allows our guests to check-in using their smartphone, while delivering remote access to our staff both on and off property. Stayntouch's intuitive interface is also a major asset: We have a diverse team that includes people who are new to the business, as well as veteran hoteliers who spent their entire career with older systems. The fact that we can train everyone on a new module within a few hours allows our staff to execute across the board and maintain an elevated standard of service. "Leisure Hotels & Resorts embodies a culture of impeccable service and guest focus that compliments the core values of Stayntouch and drives our offerings. We are delighted to partner with Leisure Hotels to deliver technology solutions that unburden hotel staff and reimagine the guest experience. We're happy that our PMS is able to amplify the service experience across Leisure Hotels by streamlining employee training, facilitating seamless on and off-property management and enhancing the guest welcome and departure experience." -Michael Heflin, Chief Revenue Officer at Stayntouch About Leisure Hotels & Resorts Leisure Hotels & Resorts is an all encompassing hospitality management company; from hotel and resort management to distressed assets, homeowners associations, development, and restaurant management. We offer comprehensive management services for independent resort operations, proven management success across the country for major franchised hotel operations, professional receivership and OREO management services, specialized food & beverage management strategies, and guidance surrounding sophisticated EB-5 programs. We also leverage our extensive history in working with ownership groups that fund lodging operations along with our experience with a variety of outdoor recreation options, and the latest experiences with specialized RV resorts and glamping opportunities, to bring more value and success to our managed properties. About Stayntouch Stayntouch provides a cloud-native, guest-centric, and fully mobile hotel property management system (PMS) and over 1100+ integrations, enabling hotels to raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately captivate their guests. Backed by a team of professionals with deep roots in the hospitality industry, Stayntouch is a trusted partner to many forward-thinking hotels and resorts, including the TWA Hotel, First Hotels, Conscious Hotels, Margaritaville, Valencia Hotel Group, and Modus Hotels. Stayntouch is also a preferred PMS partner to some of the leading independent hotel collections around the world including; Design Hotels, an Independent Marriott Brand, and Curator Hotel & Resort Collection.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence in Travel

select registry | March 03, 2022

For 50 years, Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America's network of distinguished, independent properties has offered outstanding accommodations and one-of-a-kind experiences to travelers. Select Registry was established in 1972 by travel writer Norman T. Simpson. He was the recognized authority on country inns of his time and traveled the roads and wrote of the unique inns he visited. He identified places that offered what he referred to as, "good honest lodging, good honest food, and good honest feeling." From there, his book, Country Inns and Back Roads was born. Country Inns and Back Roads started with just 16 pages and eventually evolved into a yearly guidebook, reflecting the growth of inns at the time.Today, Select Registry continues in the spirit of Norman Simpson with more than 250 member properties throughout the United States, a semi-annually published travel and lifestyle magazine, Inn Scene, and a robust website intended to provide travel inspiration and unique experiences. Select Registry properties represent the gold standard of independently owned inns, bed and breakfasts, and boutique hotels. Our quality assurance program is the most comprehensive in the industry, giving travelers assurance of consistent quality and comfort at each property. "We are proud to celebrate this milestone anniversary, Our diverse collection of properties share a passion for exceptional hospitality which has carried our organization through the last 50 years. We look forward to continuing to inspire travelers for the next 50 years and beyond." -Mark Reichle, CEO of Select Registry Discover the Select Registry difference and learn why we have been trusted by travelers and serving innkeepers for over 50 years. Watch a video commemorating the 50th anniversary of this distinguished collection of inns. About Select Registry: For 50 years, Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America has set the standard for excellence in personal hospitality at independently owned inns and bed and breakfasts. Today, our upscale properties include over 250 boutique properties. They're located everywhere from backcountry roads to big-city neighborhoods, along coastlines, and in heartlands across the United States. Learn more at www.SelectRegistry.com.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

How to Plan Safe and Fun Travel Get-Aways in 2022

Worldwide Rescue & Security, Inc. | December 29, 2021

Domestic and international bookings are on the rise, especially for the second half of 2022. Hospitality vendors are welcoming guests with promises of increased cleanliness and contactless transactions. But much remains uncertain about upcoming getaways. COVID-19 is still impacting travel. Labor and supply shortages are affecting restaurants, airlines, hotels, and rental car agencies. So what's the best way to plan a trip now? Here are some tips:Be flexible and make your reservations earlier. Airlines and other travel vendors have consolidated services, so have a back-up plan in case your schedule needs to change. Also, some hotels have reduced amenities, such as daily housekeeping and in-house restaurant hours. Verify your destination's status before leaving home. Consider a trip focused on the outdoors. Popular destinations include beach and ski resorts, plus trips to national and state parks. Our prediction is national park visits will continue to stay strong for several years to come. Explore digital travel planning tools, which can offer more choices, including pet-friendly hotels, all-inclusive resorts, vacation rental homes, and enhanced options for those working remotely. And you might also want to consider purchasing a travel assistance program for longer getaways. For a reasonable fee, Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) provides extra protection and security on every trip taken away from home during a full year, whether domestic or abroad. EA+ is part of a global network that offers customized medical, travel, and security services across six continents to ensure members get the medical care they need and are returned home safely. EA+ is offered by Worldwide Rescue & Security, Inc., a division of AGIA Affinity Services, a leading provider of emergency travel protection and rescue and security products. Each year, Worldwide Rescue & Security protects hundreds of thousands of customers in the event of medical emergencies or security situations. For more information, please visit www.emergencyassistanceplus.com.

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Spotlight

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently unveiled its New Distribution Capability (NDC) program. According to IATA, the program, which defines a new technology standard with which airlines, travel agencies and travel technology providers communicate electronically and market air products, will result in a major transformation in the travel industry. The NDC will change the way that airlines market their products to corporations and travelers.

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